[To “Voices from 19th-Century America”]

Reviews of The Token for 1829

The New-York Mirror, and Ladies’ Literary Gazette, September 6, 1828

Ladies’ Magazine, October 1828

The Ariel, 18 October 1828

The New-York Mirror, and Ladies’ Literary Gazette, October 25, 1828

the Episcopal Watchman, November 1828

The Critic, November 1, 1828

The Critic, November 1, 1828

Ariel, 10 January 1829

North American Review, April 1829



Reviews The Token tended to be generic, emphasizing the easily scanned engravings. Some reviewers, however, went further. Sarah Josepha Hale—who had a poem in this volume of The Tokenincludes some interesting comments on American dialects. (Her review was excerpted in the Episcopal Watchman—a not-uncommon bit of cross-pollination.) The Critic pointed up the literary and artistic failings of the volume—and offered a description of what made a “true" poet.



Notice of The Token, for 1829 (from The New-York Mirror, and Ladies’ Literary Gazette, September 6, 1828; p. 71)

The Token.—The improvements which the Americans annually make in the fine arts, must soon place them on an equality with every other nation. We occasionally find upon our table publications which fairly rival the best specimens received from abroad; and as these clearly prove our ability to excel in any branch of the fine arts to which the public will extend their patronage, we cannot but regret the disposition so prevalent to neglect native for foreign productions. Among those whose perseverance has promoted the interests of American literature, Mr. Goodrich, of Boston, holds a high rank. The Token which he issued last year was very well received, and he is about to publish a second volume for the ensuing Christmas. The following extract, from a Boston paper, is said to be from the pen of an individual fully competent to judge:

“We have compared the work with the best English souvenirs, and, in paper and print, it is far superior to them. In the printing it is unrivalled. Of the literary department we cannot speak, as we have read none of the pieces. Among the contributors, however, we see the names of many of our first writers. Mr. Willis is the editor of the work, and this is sufficient pledge that it is well done in his department.

“The engravings are, after all, the most important part of such a work as this; and the Token, this year, shows a great advance in our artists. The subjects are various and interesting. In this respect, the Token of this year has so advantage over any we have seen. Several of the subjects relate to American history and scenery, and are from original paintings by American artists. The “Seaman’s Widow,” and the title-page, by Cheney, are in his best tyle; the former is sweet and pathetic in a high degree. The “Italian Boulevard,” and “Joshua commanding the sun to stand still,” from Martin, by Kelly, are both fine—the latter is truly admirable. The “Saturday Afternoon,” by Ellis, is a delightful print—“The Gift,” by the same, is also beautiful. The “Cottage Legend,” by Andrews, “Capture of Andre,” by Tucker, the “Emigrants,” by Hatch, the “Academic Grove,” by Pelton, and the “Prairie on fire,” from Fisher’s striking picture, by Gallaudet are all of them, and particularly the last, very beautiful prints, by young artists, some of whose names we have never heard before. There are other prints, but we cannot notice them now.

“It is one good effect of these works, that they bring the best efforts of artists before the public, and offer a ready opportunity for the display of talent. They stimulate to effort, and so long as publishers employ only American artists, these works must be considered of national importance.

“We feel authorized to say, that the Token for 1829, will be in the highest degree worthy of public patronage. It cannot, on the whole, be inferior to any, and it certainly must be superior to most works of this sort.”


Review of The Token, for 1829 (from the Ladies’ Magazine, October 1828; pp. 474-477)

The Token—1829.”—We have been favored with a copy of this work, which is soon to be published. We are aware the public is expecting to see a beautiful book, and we are happy to say such expectations will be fully realized. Perhaps there has never appeared in the “Literary Emporium" a more splendid specimen of the arts of printing, engraving, &c. than will be furnished by the Token, of 1829. Its appearance and contents reflect much credit on the taste and liberality of the Editor and Publisher, and it is a production of which “Boston folks” may, with reason, be proud.

Among the engravings, “Saturday Afternoon,” and “The Seaman’s Widow,” deserve to be particularly named and praised. They are so different in chracter, and yet both so true to the subjects intended to be illustrated, that they present a striking proof of the dissimilar emotions which may be awakened by a touch of the pencil. Who so old, so melancholy, but feels to exclaim, while gazing on the merry group in the first picture—

“Play on! play on! I with you there,

In the midst of the merry ring!

I can feel the thrill of the daring jump,

And the rush of the breathless swing.

I hide with you in the fragrant hay,

And I whoop in the smothered call,

And my feet slip up on the seedy floor,

And I care not for the fall.

* * * * * *

I love to look on a scene like this,

Of wild and careless play,

And it wiles my heart from its dreariness,

To see the young so gay!”

Then turn to “The Seaman’s Widow,” and who so young, so volatile, but acknowledges at once, the influence of that pale, sorrowful, yet meek and resigned countenance and attitude; and what heart but feels “sadder and better” while musing over a picture in which is exhibited “the calmness of a meek spirit, passing in the strength of its duty, of its affection, of its trial; and there is indeed, a world of consolation and of instruction to be drawn from the scene.” The story is excellent.

The “Italian Boulevard” is next on our list of favorites. It is very good; and so, also, is the “Prairie on Fire;” but the latter wants coloring to appear advantageously. The “Capture of Andre” is a very interesting engraving to an American, but the execution is not perfect; the foot of the unfortunate spy is a libel on humanity. However, the attitude and look of the soldier refusing

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the purse are so admirable, that we are half inclined to forgive or forget the faults in the piece. We may read in the countenance of the patriot American,

“Briton! put up thy gold!

Nor hope thou thus, by prayer or threat,

To go hence free and proud;

How faintly falls the speech of man

Where God’s deep voice is loud!

‘God and our country!’ hallowed word!

Breathe it but in thy heart,

Briton! then ask us that we bid

Her mortal foe depart!”

By the way, the whole poem is beautiful, and worthy of being the production of J. W. Miller. The literary part of the work is much indebted to the Editor, N. P. Willis. His contributions, in prose and verse, anonymous and avowed, are good, though not all equally so; indeed, the articles may with few exceptions, be entitled excellent, and such as might be expected from the pens of our best native writers. Still we confess we were more surprised than gratified to find so large a portion of the volume devoted to the muses; blank-verse too, abounds; a measure which we never loved, though we have sometimes admired. To judge by the quantity of rhyme and the number of poetic contributors (nearly thirty different names) one would conclude our country was the nursery of poets; and we do consider it a matter of triumph that there should be so much poetic talent among us as is exhibited in the Token. Nearly all the specimens are above mediocrity, and many of them really and eminently beautiful. Such is the following, from the pen of the Rev. G. W. Doane.

“WHAT IS THAT, MOTHER?”

“What is that, mother?—The lark, my child!

The morn has but just looked out and smiled,

When he starts from his humble, grassy nest,

And is up and away, with the dew on his breast,

And a hymn in his heart, to yon pure, bright sphere,

To warble it out in his Maker’s ear:

Ever, my child, be thy morning lays

Tuned, like the lark’s, to thy Maker’s praise.

“What is that, mother?—The dove, my son!

And that low, sweet voice, like a widow’s moan,

Is flowing out from her gentle breast,

Constant and pure, by that lonely nest,

As the wave is poured from some crystal urn,

For her distant dear one’s quick return:

Ever, my son, be thou like the dove,

In friendship as faithful, as constant in love!

“What is that, mother?—The eagle, boy!

Proudly careering his course of joy;

Firm on his own mountain vigor relying,

Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying;

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His wing on the wind, and his eye in the sun,

He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on:

Boy! may the eagle’s flight ever be thine,

Onward, and upward, and true to the line!

“What is that, mother?—The swan, my love!

He is floating down from his native grove;

No loved one now, no nestling nigh,

He is floating down by himself to die;

Death darkens his eye, and unplumes his wings,

Yet his sweetest song is the last he sings:

Live so, my love, that when death shall come,

Swan-like and sweet, it may waft thee home!”

The person who is not moved by the beauty and truth of such poetry, can hardly have a soul. There is something peculiarly touching in the display of a mother’s tenderness and judgment, thus seizing every opportunity of conveying instruction, and mingling with affectionate explanations of natural objects those exalted moral reflections which will teach her son how to live, and how to die. It is just the kind of instruction that an intelligent, judicious and pious woman is qualified to impart, and which, more effectually than the lessons of tutors, and the lectures of professors, insures the goodness and greatness of men.

Among the prose articles, “Otter-Bag,” notwithstanding its unpromising title, gives, more than any other piece, the character of American to the volume. The talents of John Neal are too well known to need our commendation; but the fearless philanthropy with which he advocates the cause of the poor Indians, the deep feeling with which he dwells on “their sorrows and their sufferings, their valor and their virtue,” creates for this story an interest which even his genius might otherwise have failed of awakening. But we wish he had told the tale in his own language, or, at least, had not introduced so many imitations of Yankee phraseology. We have no doubt Mr. Neal acted from patriotic motives, for we believe, with “Major Dick Smith,” that he is “a true American,” and that he exposes these improprieties of speech in order to correct them; but will not the mode he had adopted give an erroneous idea of the Yankee “peculiarity of language” to those personally unacquainted with New-England society? Is there not a difference between a provincial dialect and an old-fashioned manner of pronunciation? It should be borne in mind that the latter only is the cause of the peculiarities in the conversation of the northern people. There is no provincial dialect, but only the improprieties which those ignorant of grammar are liable to commit. The public schools, for which our New-England is so celebrated, are correcting these improprieties, and the improvement is very perceptible between the language of the veterans of ’76, in which number “Jerry Smith” must be enrolled, and the grandchildren of those worthies. Yet John Neal makes no explanation, and on his au-

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thority,—and what better authority can be desired?—our southern citizens, and foreigners, may conclude, indeed assert, that every “native New-Englander,” in pronouncing the word pretty, gives to the e the sound of u in bull, or o in book!

The beginning of the story, however, is liable to none of these objections, but is written by Mr. Neal in his happiest and most forcible manner. We wish we had space for a dozen pages, but can hardly insert as many lines.

“Centuries and centuries ago, North America must have been more populous by far than it is now; the tumuli that are ploughed up every year in the western wilderness, are to be regarded as proof. They are like a chain of military works now, link after link overshadowed by large trees that have grown up out of the wreck of other large trees. Or it may be that they are burial-places; it may be that they are outworks of a great empire—the path of her battles—the route of her march from sea to sea—the places where she halted in her career from the rude north to the warm south, from the rough Atlantic to the smooth Pacific, from the high parts of our earth,

‘Where the stars and the hills are together at night,’

away to the green level, where she disappeared forever. But in either case they prove, that ages ago, the very solitudes were peopled from shore to shore.

“What a field for inquiry! The white man of our day, weary of the life that men lead in fellowship, plunges into the awful woods of that country where the chief nations of Europe might be concealed from each other; and hoping to find a spot on earth never visited by mortal man before, journeys away week after week, and month after month, pitches upon a spot, prepares to be happy, sets fire to the trees, gets ready the plough or the spade, with a notion that he is about to see what was buried there on the morning of the first day, and lo! when it cleaves the earth, it turns up the vestiges of a mighty people, the skeletons of a race that is no more. If he go further, it is the same. At every step, he treads upon the proof that a nation has preceded him. Wherever the soil is reached by the sunshine or the wind or the rain, wherever it is laid open to the sky, flowers and herbage start up that appear to belong to another world.”

We recommend to those who feel an interest in the cultivation of American talent and literature, to encourage the efforts annually making for the improvement of our taste, as well as the amusement of our leisure hours.


Review of The Token for 1829 (from The Ariel, 18 October 1828; p. 99)

The Boston traveller thus speaks of the Boston Token for 1829:

The engravings of “The Prairie,” and “Saturday afternoon,” are from paintings by Fisher, and are very good, very good indeed. The “Italian Boulevards” and “The Academic Grove,” are of a lofty, gorgeous character, while the “Seaman’s Widow” is as soft, and just, and melancholy, as the story which illustrates it—The “Capture of Andre,” is not so good—The attitude of the soldier refusing the purse is excellent, but the Major’s right leg and foot are abominable—the latter looks more like a horse’s hoof.

Of the literary part, we can also speak in terms of praise. The “Seaman’s Widow,” by Grenville Mellen, of Portland, is a simple narrative, without any point to help it along, and which owes its whole merit to the fine thought and language. It is a story of feeling; the description of the gradual drooping away of a young bride under the absence of her husband, whose profession calls him to the Mediterranean. She pines, and pines, and sinks in presentiment of wo, and the approach of her decease, untill [sic] there comes a rumor that her husband has been engaged in a gallant action, in which, although s[u]ccessful, he has been severely wounded. This rumor becomes a newspaper paragraph, and we admire the touching poetical manner in which the effect of it is described:

“When Helen read the intelligence, at length assuming some credible shape, there was no violent burst of grief, no wailing of despair, but the little hope that had hitherto sustained her seemed suddenly withdrawn, and she settled downward to the earth, as though an overpowering and overshadowing presence was upon her.” p. 32.

We think that passage alone would entitle Mr. Mellen to a good reputation. We wish, however, that he would select names more musical for his hero and heroine—“James” is well enough, and “Helen” we always admired; but “Kirkwood” and “Fraser” are most uneuphoneous—“The confessions of a Belle” are vivaciously, and carelessly told—too easy to be true, and yet there is a smack of candor about them that leaves an inexperienced Bachelor in doubt. She says at the commencement, “Cruelty was my motto;” and we believe her—we have seen that sort of thing tried very often by young ladies, at their first soirees. They generally find it does not answer beyond the first season.

Many belles might make their confessions, but we imagine very few with so much spirit, wit, and truth, as this fair penitent of the Token.

“The Ruse,” by the Editor, Mr. Willis—a very dramatically managed Love story—Philip Blondel, and Alice Blair, are the most sensible pair of lovers we have met with in a long time; and yet they are very much in love too, which makes it so surprising. The author’s definition of a popular man at college, is to the life—exact; we have seen such fellows a hundred times, and we never saw a popular fellow who was not exactly the man described here. Is it not an anachronism, Mr. Willis, to marry your couple after one publication of bann? And is it not a solecism to expel a student for committing matrimony?


Review of The Token, for 1829 (from The New-York Mirror, and Ladies’ Literary Gazette, October 25, 1828; p. 127)

The Annuals.—In all ages, and in all countries, mementos of regard and of love have had a high value set upon them, to whatever sense they have been addressed, if at the same time they were the offerings of heart to heart. The bouquet of flowers, and even the single ephemeral emblem of feeling, has a language that speaks in almost every clime, and is prized rather for the motive that accompanies or prompts its presentation, than for its beauty, or rarity, or perfume, and far above its intrinsic value. A ring, a lock of hair, a miniature, and thousands of other tokens of affection or esteem presented by the living or bequeathed by the dying, are treasured up with a reverence, and gazed on with an idolatry that hallows the gift, while the giver is canonized. Many a tear of joyous grief has been shed over these proofs of love; many a blessing has been invoked on the memory of the donors; many an hour of heart-felt gladness and satisfying pleasure has run away with the cares and anxieties of this bustling, and, oft times, comfortless world. Memory loves to dwell on the by-gone days of joy, which are often called up by the keepsakes of departed or absent friends: she repeats and perpetuates her delights by frequent vision of these testimonials. The pleasures of yesterday are called up to-day, and those of to-morrow are anticipated with all the zest that imagination can lend. The subjects of these remarks are among the most valuable of these remembrancers. In them, superadded to the gifts as tokens, will be found some of the beauties of almost every grade of intellect; the tale of sorrow for the sad, of joy for the gay, of wit for the lively, and the charm of song for those

“Whose souls are tuned to music’s heavenly powers.”

The whole partierre of literature is before us, and the paradise of terrestrial enjoyment is opened so far as that enjoyment is connected with the human mind. There is a flower for every eye, a pearl for every casket, a sweet for every taste.

The Token has already issued from the press of Mr. S. G. Goodrich—one of the most enterprising publishers of the United States—and equals the anticipations of the public in the richness and variety of its contents, as well as in the beauty of its typography and graphic embellishments. Three articles from this volume will be found in the Mirror of to-day. We subjoining the names of all the annuals, both English and American, that our readers may be able to make such selection as may accord with their respective fancies. The Token, Atlantic Souvenir, The Memorial, The Talisman, and the Western Souvenir, are native productions. Ackerman’s Forget-me-not, The Souvenir, The Amulet, Friendship’s Offering, The Pledge of Friendship, The Bijou, The Keepsake, The Anniversary, The Winter’s Wreath, The Christmas Box, The New-Year’s Gift, The Juvenile Forget-me-not, are all the British annuals that have hitherto been published. It is said a Musical Annual is also about to appear in London. It is scarcely necessary to remark that these are the cheapest books ever published, and that but for the steel plates used for the engravings, by which a large number of impressions can be taken, it would be impossible for the publishers to afford these splendid specimens of art at the low price affixed to them. As we are aware that few will purchase a copy of each annual, it is our purpose to select one of the most interesting contributions from each, and to present it to the readers of the Mirror; and we may, and probably shall, be more free with those which are the productions of Americans, trusting that in this species of composition, we shall have no reason to blush for our want of taste, while we may be proud in giving a preference to native talent. Our limits are such, that the cursory notice of to-day must serve in lieu of particular comments, which our readers will doubtless make for themselves.


Review of The Token, for 1829 (excerpted from The Ladies’ Magazine; from the Episcopal Watchman, November 1828; p. 280)

The Token for 1829.—Nearly all the poetical specimens are above mediocrity, and many of them really and eminently beautiful. Such is ‘What is that, Mother?’ from the pen of the Rev. G. W. Doane. The person who is not moved by the beauty and truth of such poetry, can hardly have a soul. There is something peculiarly touching in the display of a mother’s tenderness and judgment, thus seizing every opportunity of conveying instruction, and mingling with affectionate explanations of natural objects, those exalted moral reflections which will teach her son how to live and how to die. It is just the kind of instruction that an intelligent, judicious and pious woman is qualified to impart, and which, more effectually than the lessons of tutors, and the lectures of professors, insures the goodness and the greatness of men.—Ladies Magazine.


Review of The Token, for 1829 (from The Critic, November 1, 1828; pp. 6-9)

The Token; a Christmas and New-Year’s Present.—Edited by N. P. Willis, 18mo. Boston, 1829, S. G. Goodrich.

The young men and young women of the present day ought to feel much indebted to the liberality and taste of the booksellers, for the introduction of their yearly gift-books among us, and for the really splendid style in which, for the most part, they are executed. Beaux are now relieved from the perplexity and embarrassment under which, formerly, they often laboured, in choosing appropriate presents during the season when complimentary boons are expected by the fair sex; and belles, instead of toys and trinkets, may look for a gift that, while it cannot fail to delight the eye with the neatness of its typography, and the elegance and interesting nature of its graphic illustrations, will, also, improve their minds, and serve to beguile many a tedious hour, when time shall have deprived it of the gloss of novelty. He who resorts

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to the jeweller or toyman for the selections of his New-Year remembrancer, now that literature and art have combined their powers in the production of such beautiful and interesting substitutes for useless foppery, displays so great a want of taste as almost to deserve the fate he seeks to avert, and to lose the favour of the fair one whom he is endeavouring to conciliate.

The Token has appeared before the public first of the works of its kind; and its external appearance—the first thing to be noticed, and in a gift-book a very important matter—entitles the publisher to a high degree of praise. A few copies of the illustrations of the volume have been struck off on larger paper, and are disposed of separately. The reader will find a notice of these in the Fine Arts department of our paper.

In the list of contributors to the Token, we observe the names of several writers already well known in the world of letters; among others, the Rev. G. W. Doane, (aughor of Songs by the Way,) G. Mellen, Mrs. Sigourney, N. P. Willis, Mrs. A. M. Wells, John Neal, &c. The contents of a miscellany, where the articles are supplied by so many authors as have a share in this, of different ages, sexes and views, and of widely different degrees of literary ability, must necessarily be of various and unequal merit. Unless a strict impartiality be exercised by the editor, and every thing submitted to him be examined in a spirit of vigilent and severe criticism, much will unavoidably find admittance to its pages without possessing any intrinsic right to so enviable a place. This remark applies to the Annual before us; many of the articles of which are below mediocrity, and some of the poetry would be too much honoured by being printed in a collection of nursery rhymes. Let the reader, for example, peruse the Cottage Legend, at page 79, (which has been thought worthy of being illustrated by an engraving!) and we shall be much mistaken if he do not concur in our opinion. We quote enough of the stanzas to preserve the connection of the story, that those of our readers who are not in possession of a copy of the Token, may own our censure just:

Cottage Legend.

Between yon distant hills that hide,

The pathway of the silver Wys,

A bonny cottage maiden lived,

Of raven hair, and hazel eye.

* * *

And gallant lovers came from far,

The maiden’s heart and hand to gain,

And many a vow and many a sigh,

Were breathed in Ellen’s ear in vain.

* * *

But young Lord Gower came to the glen,

And words of love he well could say,

And Ellen’s youthful heart he won,

And bore her from her home away.

* * *

And years passed by—and she forgot

Them all, till bitter sorrow pressed;

And then the scenes of youth came back

In memory’s fondest colours dressed.

Her tears fell fast—and soon she rose

To seek her cottage home once more—

But ah! ’twas winter now, and fierce,

The cold blast swept the valley o’er.

* * *

She reached at length her father’s door—

’Twas shut, and all was still around;

But near, lay hushed in death’s repose,

Her father on the frozen ground.

* * *

Poor Ellen now went wild—her mind

Was wrecked by this last fearful stroke—

Her heart by wrong and ruin tried,

Parted and was forever broke.

A number of sonnets in the volume are also extremely puerile and feeble. The following by H. Pickering, is both miserable in conception, and inharmonious and unpoetical in execution. Few writers succeed well in this species of composition; and of all poor poetry, we look on a poor sonnet as the worst:

A Night in a Poet’s deserted Room.

Deep sleep fell on me with the shades of night,

When suddenly, in glorious vision raised,

A form immortal, awe-struck and amazed,

Methought I saw, scarce seemed he to alight;

His outspread wings still waved; a tiar, bright

With stars resplendent, like a glory blessed

upoon his matchless brow; that while appraised

By either hand, what looked to my rapt sight

A second crown he bore. Instant with voice

That from the hidden soul of harmony

Appeared to come, these words he spoke: ‘Rejoice

Forevermore, O Bryant! this to thee!’

Then smiled superiour, and the radiant crown

At once on me had placed, but vanished with a frown!

We do not find fault with the idea of one poet eulogizing another in his strains; and can say with entire sincerity that, had the compliment intended in the above sonnet been as delicate and well-turned, as doubtles the author wished, William Cullen Bryant would have deserved it all. He is justly looked upon with pride by his fellow-countrymen as one of our most gifted sons of song; and the only censure we have ever heard pronounced upon him, was not for what he has written, but because he writes no more. But we do blame the partiality, or inattention, or want of proper rigour on the part of the editor of the Token, which has thus suffered a number of unworthy productions to occupy a space that might have been better filled; and, as in the instance of Mr. Pickering, permitted some authors to do discredit to their own names, by publishing effusions thrown off in haste, when, had they been subjected to a proper censorship, they would have shown themselves capable of better things. These Christmas and New-Year books will be looked upon abroad as a fair specimen of the literary advancement of our country, and we should be pleased to have them bear a flattering report.—While we condemn the sonnet of Mr. Pickering, we feel it proper to state our conviction that he is possessed of the warmth, and the sensitiveness, and the love of nature, and the relish for the beautiful, which distinguish the true poet; and could he be persuaded that genius, to be great, requires the assistance of labour, we have no doubt that he would yet rise to an enviable height among the votaries of the Nine. As a more favorable specimen of his talents, we copy a part of his stanzas to the Fringilla Melodia, or Song Sparrow.

Joy fills the vale,

With joy extatic quivers every wing,

As floats thy note upon the genial gale,

Sweet bird of spring!

The violet

Awakens at thy song, and peers from out

Its fragrant nook, as if the season yet

Remained in doubt—

While from the rock

The columbine its crimson bell suspends,/

That careless vibrates, as its slender stalk

The zephyr bends.

* * *

Oh well I know

Why thou art here thus soon, and why the bowers

So near the sun have lesser charm than now

Our land of flowers.

Thou art returned

On a glad errand—to rebuild thy nest,

And fan again the gentle fire that burned

Within thy breast.

* * *

We like the following lyric. There is a loftiness of feeling about it, joined with a smoothness of versification, and a boldness of language, that will recommend it to the attention of every reader. Besides, it places the subject of the capture of Major Andre in a novel and proper light. There has been too much mock sentiment—too many unpatriotic lamentations breathed for the doom of the British officer, who, however gentle, and polished, and deservedly beloved at home, was taken while in the prosecution of a most

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dishonourable mission, which successfully terminated, would have proved of disastrous consequence to the infant liberty of our country. The brave men, on the contrary, who shut their eyes to his gold, their ears to his promises, and their hearts to his complaints, nobly resolved to persevere in their duty to their land, at whatever sacrifice of individual feeling, have been suffered to go down to the grave “unwept, unhonoured and unsung.”

The Capture of Andre.

Look on us, Briton! readest thou

Aught base or craven here?

On these swart breasts and toil-worn brows

Is stamped the sign of fear?

Look, man of courts! and know’st thou not

Rude arm and peasant’s vest

Are lightnings in a patriot’s grasp—

Proof mail upon his breast?

Go to! I would not wrong the truth

That fills thy noble eye;

That broad, pale forehead’s lift of pride

Should take no shameful die.

I would not that a bribe should be

Clasped in a brave man’s hold;

’Tis a base weapon vainly drawn;

Briton, put up thy gold!

Nor hope thou thus, by prayer or threat,

To go hence free and proud—

How faintly falls the speech of man

Where God’s deep voice is loud!

“God and our country!”—hallowed word!

Breathe it but in thy heart,

Briton, then ask us that we bid

Her mortal foe depart.

Within our souls there is a voice,

Upon our eyes a fire,

That leaves to pity’s moan no ear,

No glance to low desire.

Our country’s wrong—our country’s hope!

Is written on heaven’s wall;

We may but read that lightning scroll,

Hear but that thunder call.

We may but meet thee as a foe,

Lead thee, but as a slave;

Start’st thou?—yet that proud form may bow

To fill a felon’s grave!

Go thou with us; our last resolve—

Perchance thy doom—is told!

Think’st thou to buy a patriot’s soul?

Briton! put up thy gold!

There is a poem in this collection, from the pen of Mrs. Emma C. Embury, entitled Surrender of Calais, which well deserves its place in the beautiful volume, and which, but on account of its length, we should be pleased to copy into our columns. Our poetical selections, however, already occupy a considerable space; and we must conclude them with the annexed sweet stanzas, written by the editor, N. P. Willis:

Saturday Afternoon.

I love to look on a scene like this,

Of wild and careless play,

And persuade myself that I am not old,

And my locks are not yet gray.

For it stirs the blood in an old man’s heart,

And makes his pulses fly,

To catch the thrill of a happy voice,

And the light of a pleasant eye.

* * *

Play on! play on! I am with you there,

In the midst of your merry ring;

I can feel the thrill of the daring jump,

And the rush of the breathless swing.

I hide with you in the fragrant hay,

And I whoop the smothered call,

And my feet slip up on the seedy floor,

And I care not for the fall.

I am willing to die when my time shall come,

And I shall be glad to go,

For the world, at best, is a weary place,

And my pulse is getting low;

But the grave is dark, and the heart will fail

In treading its gloomy way;

And it wiles my heart from its dreariness

To see the young so gay.

The same inequality of merit, that we have spoken of as being so conspicuous in the poetical, is likewise observable in the prose portion of this elegant miscellany. Some of it is written with spirit, force and vivacity; and some is dull, vapid and tame. Some of the tales are ingenious in construction, pure in diction, and rich in imagery; and others are recommended by but little interest of plot, command of language or ornaments of rhetoric. Perhaps the best story in the book is one by John Neale, called Otter-Bag, the Oneida Chief, which will well repay the time taken up in its perusal. One passage of it, in particular, is written with such a glow of soul, and is so truly eloquent, that we cannot forbear sundering it from the rest, for the separate persual of our readers:

“There may be no such ruins in America as are found in Europe, or in Asia, or in Africa; but other ruins there are, of a prodigious magnitude—the ruins of a mighty people. There may be no places of pilgrimage in America, unless it be some lonely battleground, already forgotten by the neighborhood, overgrown with a new forest, and overshadowed with a perpetual deep darkness, or covered, far and wide, with a sea of weltering herbage—the frightful vegetation of death; no places that have been sanctified by song and story, age after age, with beautiful tradition or with fierce poetry, save here and there, a small spot of earth shut in by the great hills, or fortified by the everlasting rocks, where the red man withstood the white man, while the noise and the flash of the terrible weapons, with which the latter shot fire into the hearts of the former, appeared to the savage to be that very noise and brightness which he had seen set fire to the woods about his path, tear up the earth under his feet, and shatter the very sky over his head; or some other shadowy quiet place, or smooth hill-top where the men of the revolution made war upon their fathers and brothers—upon the most powerful nation of the earth, while her ships covered the sea, and her armies were on the march in every quarter of the globe. There may be no piles of barbarian architecture, each a wilderness of turrets, towers and battlements, rocking to the sea-breeze, or overshadowing the high places of power in America; no half buried city, like the pillared and sculptured treasuries of art which encumber the earth and choke up the rivers of the old world, or come and go with the tide—appear and disappear, day after day, along the sea-shore of states that have perished forever, cities buried by the volcano or the earthquake, overthrown by the savage, swept over by the sea, or swallowed up by the sand of the desert—yet crowded with strange beauty and full of glorious wreck; no prodigies of the mist—of that beautiful dim vapour, the twilight of another world, the atmosphere of tradition, through which teh bannered places, the rocky fortresses, and the haughty piles of Europe loom with a most unearthly grandeur. But if there are no such things in America, there are things which are to be found nowhere else on earth now—the live wreck of a prodigious empire, that has departed from before our face within the memory of man; the last of a people who have no history, and who but the other day were in possession of a quarter of the whole earth.” p. 225-7.

The story in the Token, called Drowned Alive, by W. L. Stone, Esq. editor of the New-York Commercial Advertiser, is written in fair language, but lacks originality. Although it would not be proper or polite to suspect the author of plagiarism; yet the accidental coincidence, both as to the “gross and scope” of the sketch, and, in some instances, the very modes of expression, with one that was copied from Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, into the columns of the Commercial, in the year 1820 or 1821, is truly surprising. The story in Blackwood was called, Remarkable Preservation from Death at Sea; whereas the name of the present is totally different:—yet there is some resemblance between, Drowned Alive, and,

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Buried Alive, which last is the name of another vigourous sketch, by the author of the Remarkable Preservation, and was given to the public through the same channel with the former, and regularly copied, on the arrival of the packet ship, into the columns of the Commercial. Our readers may remember a third singular sketch, of similar character with the other two, and from the same gifted pen, entitled, The Man in the Bell. This, also, was transferred to the Commercial, if our memory serve us right. A number of strong arguments might be adduced to show that Drowned Alive is altogether a distinct story from the Remarkable Preservation. The hero of the one fell overboard, in the night, from a ship at sea; the hero of the other, instead of the ocean, chose to be drowned in the clear waters of the Susquehannah. The one makes his delirious proceed from a quantity of laudanum that he had taken; the other, despising the vulgar belief in the relation of cause and effect, is pleased to be excited, as opium only excites, without the trouble of swallowing it. Many other equally cogent reasons might be urged in defence of the originality, of Drowned Alive; but no one can be so uncharitable, we are convinced, as to believe, for a moment, that the contributor of that tale ever dresses himself in borrowed plumes. It is really unfortunate that the writer in Blackwood should have stolen our author’s ideas before they were written; but who is there fool-hardy enough to dispute his word, when he assures the world, by implication, that the conception and execution of that story are entirely his own, the coinage of his unassisted brain?

To conclude our article, which has grown to too great a length: the token is a work, which, for beauty of mechanical execution, elegance of embellishments, and general literary merit, may be honestly recommended to public patronage; and we have no hesitation in saying that, if the extent of the sale be proportioned to the deserts of the publisher, he will have no cause to regret the pains and expense which have been lavished in its production.


Review of The Token, for 1829 (from The Critic, November 1, 1828; p. 12)

[excerpt]

Illustrations of The Token. These are fifteen in number, and exhibit, in a very favorable light, the state of the arts among us. The Seaman’s Widow, by J. Cheney, from a drawing by Franquelin, is a beautiful engraving. The subject is well chosen, and the circumstances introduced are appropriate and illustrative. One would suppose it no difficult matter to write a story from such a picture; for it almost tells a whole story, and a mournful one, without the aid of words. The sad expression of the principal figure’s face, as, supported by pillows and her debilitated form reposing against the back of an easy chair, she listens to the contents of a letter that an attendant—a sister, from her appearance—is reading to her; the paper that has fallen from her hands, which are crossed in mournful resignation; and the dress of the person represented in the portrait over her head, all disclose the nature of the principal subject so vividly, that one with but a moderate share of fancy might supply the incidents requisite to complete the tale.

The execution of the first engraving, Saturday Afternoon, is much better than the design. It is taken from a painting of A. Fisher, by G. B. Ellis. The subject of the Vignette is not in good taste; the engraving, by J. Cheney, is admirable.

The Academic Grove, is a beautiful picture, and beautifully executed. It reminds one of the architectural style of Martin.

The Cottage Legend, from a drawing by Westall, is in a style about equal to that of the verses it is meant to illustrate. Our opinion of them will be found in the review of the Token.

Another admirable specimen of engraving, by Cheney, is Psyche, before the Tribunal of Venus, from Fragenord. [sic] There is something too voluptuous for our taste in the subject; with the workmanship no fault can be found.


Notice about The Token, for 1829 (from Ariel, 10 January 1829: 150)

The entire edition of the Boston Token has been sold, and not a copy is left in the publisher’s hands. This is certainly a most rapid sale of an edition of 4000 copies. The work, however, was well got up, its contents were good, and its price was not extravagant.


Review of The Token, for 1829 (from the North American Review, April 1829; pp. 480-488)

Art. X.—1. The Atlantic Souvenir, a Christmas and New Year’s Offering. 1829. Philadelphia. Carey, Lea, & Carey.

2. The Token, a Christmas and New Year’s Present. Edited by N. P. Willis. Boston. 1829. S. G. Goodrich.

3. The Talisman, for MDCCCXXIX. New York. E. Bliss.

We may seem to have a somewhat less grave task in hand than common, in taking cognizance of the claims of these pictured duodecimos. But we have never been wont to estimate literature by the quantity, or to appraise the productions of intellect by the space which they occupy on paper. Nor yet have we ever found, in the natural history of books, that in these, as in the feathered tribes, sweetness of song is never combined with brilliancy of plumage. These volumes are indeed small in size and beautiful in binding, lettered in gold and full of plates, but not therefore the less will we acknowledge the excellence and beauty of their literary contents. Not every book that is biggest must needs be best, nor do most words always convey most information. A little fire is better than much wood. One stirring thought, one strong conception, one sound and useful maxim,—and it may as well be conveyed in the three words of a simple sentence, as hidden in the chaff of a folio,—is more deserving of the praise, and will better repay the consideration of the world, than ‘an infinite deal of nothing.’ And as to engravings and pictures and all the embellishments of a fair outside, they can do little harm; but when employed in adorning innocence or illustrating truth,

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may do much good. ‘Where there is virtue, these are more virtuous.’ Literature is not, now-a-days, so much the idol of enthusiasm, that she needs to be clothed in a grave and austere habit. In the most fascinating attire, her disciples may well-nigh be counted.

In looking, then, at these little volumes, we would first hail with pleasure that enactment of modern taste, which has converted the symbols of love and friendship and remembrance from pencil-cases, pocket-books, and pen-knives, ‘the works of men’s hands,’ into something more worthy of intellectual and moral beings. There is little enough of real fellowship and true sympathy in this world of self, and it seems like taking away even that which we have, to make us depend for their expression on the artificial and heartless creations of mere mechanism. The attachments of society are too apt to be matters of caprice or accident, of convenience or policy, to be of long duration. They need the strong cement of reason to secure their uncertain continuance and fasten their slippery hold. ‘The amity which Wisdom knits not,’ says Nature’s best interpreter, ‘Folly will easily untie.’ We are glad then to see anything, which only looks like bringing in this necessary aid to that which, in its purity and strength, is the very joy and poetry of life. We would have Genius make ready his richest gifts and Virtue her purest sacrifice, as offerings for the altar of Friendship, that haply, not only the hearts of her sincere votaries may be confirmed in their peace, but those of the cold and indifferent lookers-on may be purified and set right. Words, and thoughts, and pictures embodying thoughts, seem more proper and trust-worthy expressions of rational affection, and love coming from the soul. They speak to the understanding, and not to the senses only; with the eloquence of the heart, and not the mere cunning of the hands.

We cannot indeed say that there is less of mechanical skill and the nicety of art; in these, than in the old materials of friendly interchange. But here genius and reason unite with and sanctify the art, and each borrows a grace and a beauty of the other. The difference is like that between paper and coin as the circulating medium of commerce. In the one, the value is wholly artificial; in the other, art is employed only to adorn and designate its intrinsic worth.

We are far from intending, by tbese remarks, that the sincerity of friendship is to be tried by the quality or the

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cost of a New Year’s gift. As well might we measure a man’s grief by the width of his crape, or his piety by the length of his prayer. We disclaim, too, any reverence for those ancient superstitions that amulets can keep, or knives cut love. A hearty shake of the hand, an honest counsel, an open trust, a free communication, is, any time, to our mind, better evidence of real regard, than all the love-tokens or keep-sakes which art could devise or wealth can purchase. But forasmuch as it is a popular and innocent custom, for those who are near or dear to each other, to interchange, at the beginning of a new year, some token that their love has not died with the old—a kind of renewal of the bond of affection—we would have such a token, as much as may be adapted to its purpose. If possible, it should be, in itself, an image and a type of the beauty and purity of that spirit, which is supposed to influence the giver. We, say supposed, for it cannot be denied that many of these slight tokens of regard are mere gifts of ceremony or compliment, to atone for some past neglect or secure some future favor. But still we would have them signify what friendship ought to be, not what it is; or rather what friendship really is, and not what the world too often make it. Though secretly on our guard, we would never acknowledge any such thing as an interested attachment or a politic love. We would learn to shudder at the idea of a false friend or a hollow heart. Haply, by not acknowledging, we may prevent their existence; as an unreserved confidence will sometimes ensure faithfulness. These little volumes then, breathing with the eloquence of pure thoughts, with the music of a rich and chastened fancy, and adorned with all the delicacy of the most refined arts, seem a faint, but not untrue, expression of real intellectual friendship.

But we turn from these somewhat extraneous considerations to those more nearly connected with the works before us, and more appropriate to our character as literary reviewers. And here we are not inclined, nor, if we were, would we indulge the inclination to clamber to the dizzy top of prophecy, and point to these and the other little golden specks, which are just glimmering above the dim horizon, as the twilight dawn of American literature. Still less are we disposed to get us up upon the mount of retrospect, and, counting over, as we too easily could, the scant and thinly scattered productions of our past years, to add these as fresh specimens of a vain and vaunting

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littleness. Both these operations have often enough been performed. Often enough has the latter brought down upon us a ridicule, whose justice ourselves could hardly gainsay; and too often has the former only served to cheat us into so self-satisfied and sleepy an assurance, that our literature must of mere necessity become as perfect as our liberty, that we have almost forgotten to use any exertions to make it so. As if a few more revolutions of the globe were going to roll in upon us these treasures of learning and knowledge, as if a’ripe and abundant harvest were about to spring spontaneously up to feast our lazy admiration! We scorn to use those blest endowments of memory and imagination to so miserable and mischievous an end. We would simply remark, and that without fear of having it cast in our teeth, that these little works, made up of short articles of poetry and prose, seem especially suited to the instant genius of our land. The body of our writers are yet young. Few of them have acquired experience and strength enough to venture alone into the world. Here seems to be a fair and pleasant field for them to exercise together, to prove their powers and prepare them for future and nobler exertions. Not that we would allow our young men to devote their time or talents exclusively, or even in any considerable degree, to works like these. On the contrary, we are ready enough to confess that it is one of the greatest faults of our land and time, and that which augurs illest for the success of our literature, that our scholars are permitted so soon to steal out of their closets, to throw by their books, and attempt to teach others, who themselves need instruction. And were the tendency of these literary toys to encourage so pernicious a course, beautiful as they are, we would condemn them. It is not only in ‘the lines of a good judge’ that the maxim should be written, ‘He should continue the studying of his books, and not spend upon the old stock.’ No one can expect ever to be rich in wisdom and in good learning, whose expenditure is exceeding, or equalling, or coming nigh to equal his income. ‘But the short articles of which these volumes are composed, appear to us to require just enough of the time and labor of our scholars to keep their pens ready and their ink from growing thick, to give their reason a breathing-time and let their fancy sport its wings. They serve as a kind of sampler, on which they may practise those niceties and beauties of expression, hereafter to be worked in upon more enduring ma-

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terials; or, use a more dignified figure, they answer as the cartoons of the Italian artists, on which may be figured in small those creations of fancy and devices of thought, which may afterwards be applied to the more matured and nobler fresco. Our poets, too, (as indeed may be said of almost all poets of the present day,) seem to have a peculiar aptitude for short pieces, or at least a peculiar inaptitude for long ones. Whether it be want of power, or want of confidence, or want of desire for a longer flight, they venture but a little way at a time. But their productions, though destitute of the fulness and strength of larger proportions, have much beauty, and will merit an exemption from the common doom of fugitive verses. The fair pages of a Souvenir or a Forget-me-not seem a pleasant and not inapt habitation for these bantlings of the Muse.

Nor ought we to omit, in this connexion, the vast improvement which these annual publications are helping to produce in the useful and ornamental arts connected with book-making. Let any one compare the neatness, the accuracy, the strength, the beauty, in all its features, of oue of these volumes, with the loose, misshapen, sorry tomes, which were issued, perhaps from the same shops, not a score of years ago; let him look at the engravings, some of them illustrating the fairest or grandest portions of our own scenery, and others copying the designs of our own painters, and compare them with the sombre wood-cuts which were at great expense imported for us not a half-century back, and he will no longer doubt that not less to the luxuries of literature than to those of fashion or of folly, may the arts look for encouragemen.

Again, there is much of curious anecdote and romantic tradition connected with the early situation, of our land, the manners and superstition of the natives, the enthusiast and sufferings of the settlers, which could hardly be spun out or woven into a history, but which ought to be embalmed in the fondest efforts of our song and story. No inch of ground is without its peculiar associatin, its appropriate legend; and it seems, hardly more than filial duty, no more than filial affection, to gather and garner up these little mementos of our fathers’ joys and trials, before time shall have marked them as alms for oblivion. What seems more fitting for the pledge of alliance and amity among the children, than the stories of the fathers, by whose toils and struggles our lots have been cast together in a world of so much happiness and comfort? The

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idea of making these seemingly frail and ephemeral works the place of safe-keeping for anything so precious, may seem but poor philosophy; and we confess that we scarce could single out from the whole mass of literary rubbish a more exact emblem of that dread wallet at the back of Time, than the common run of periodical publications. ‘Trudit alius alium,’ one pushes the other put of notice and of remembrance. But not so with these. The pledge of affection, the offering of friendship, though they may ‘wax poor’ and be returned ‘when givers prove unkind,’ are rarely thrown away or lost. Besides, the deposit will lend its own sacredness to that which contains it, as the worship sanctifies the temple, and each will ensure the preservation of the other. Nor are we without examples of tradition handed down incorrupt, from one generation to another, by works even less enduring in their nature than these. Thus the language and ceremonies of feudal homage were preserved with the greatest exactness in one of the ancient juvenile games, called ‘basilinda’ or ‘the king I am,’ the counterpart, perhaps, of our ‘royal game of goose,’ or some other of our royal pastimes. And to mention a still higher example, we have decisive confirmation as to the much disputed right of William the Conqueror to the throne, from a bit of ‘barbarous needle-work,’ found in the cathedral of Bayeux, representing the mission of Harold by king Edward, supposed to have been wrought for diversion by the queen and ladies of the court. This last consideration is rather intended as a suggestion for the future than as a comment on the past Annuals. Indeed, we know of nothing in their whole execution, which so readily suggests itself as matter of fault-finding to the American reader, as the want of patriotism and native incident. In the hope that it is a fault which needs only to be mentioned to be amended, we pass to a short but nearer examination of their respective merits.

And here we cannot attempt an elaborate criticism even of those few volumes whose titles are before us. Their nature and our space alike forbid it. Were we only to make out a fair catalogue of all the articles of which they are severally composed, and affix to each, in briefest phrase, the opinion we formed of it when read, as good, bad, pretty, stuff, we fear not a few would have to lie over, for this scant notice, until the spare pages of another number should afford room. On the other hand we are not disposed to deal out an indefinite and

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sweeping praise to works which, though small, are so various in their features. Nor, further, can we, as in reviewing common books, transcribe select portions of each, to serve as samples of the whole. For, besides that the newspapers have already anticipated us in this rather dubious compliment, it would obviously be unfair where the works are, professedly, not homogeneous. The truth is, their web, like that of life, is ‘of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.’ To examine its individual threads, were like criticising the hues of an opal or the colors of a rainbow. For justice’ sake, as well as our own, therefore, we shall content us with describing, rather than reviewing them.

1. And, first, ‘The Atlantic Souvenir,’ published at Philadelphia, by those enterprising patrons of literature and the arts, Messrs Carey, Lea, and Carey. This work, having, four years ago, appeared, ‘sola atque unica,’ may claim to be the mother of the whole tribe of genuine Annuals in our country. The present number evinces the improvement which age and experience might be expected to bring along with them. In the list of contributors, we find many of our most popular writers, and many who, hitherto unheard of, give here good promise to become so. Some, too, there are, who, though withholding their names, have by no means left us without excuse for remembering them. ‘The Catholic’ and ‘The Methodist’s Story’ have an air of moral purity and beauty about them, which merit special commendation. Much as we would like to boast of this work as the effort of a genius purely American, we cannot bring our heart to find fault with the few but beautiful strains which have been loaned to its melody by one of the richest lyres of her mother-land. The poetry of Mrs Hemans will never heed an apology with us, wherever it is inserted.

2. ‘The Token,’ edited by Mr N. P. Willis and published by Mr S. G. Goodrich, in our own Boston. The improvement in this work since its first appearance, only the last year, is scarce within measure. We then almost trembled for the reputation of ‘the fair city.’ But the present number we esteem, as able to stand a strict comparison, side by side with its twin from Philadelphia. Indeed, in comparing their literary contents, we shall find that the same pens have written the larger portion of both. We are glad to see this free interchange of labor among writers from different quarters of our land. We are glad to see those, who, by their genius or their

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eloquence, may exert a strong influence on the popular mind, wreathing together these garlands of love. A common literature is not among the least safeguards of our confederacy, and it is one which sectional prejudice should never be allowed to break through or corrupt. Who knows but these little tokens of individual amity, by keeping alive a generous sympathy and free cooperation among our literary men, may form the first link in one of the strongest boon’s of our national union? But to return; the contributions of the editor are, as always, pleasing; though we are, at times, tempted to wish, for their own duration, that they bore deeper marks of classical study and sober thought. His ‘Unwritten Philosophy,’ in ‘The Legendary,’ which, though not poetry, is thought to be his best performance, contains some useful maxims, and we could wish that he would more ‘reck his own rede.’

3. ‘The Talisman,’ published at New York, and purporting to be written by one Francis Herbert, a gentleman, who, we believe, is only known to the public as the author of the first number of the same work, last year. We have no desire to intrude upon the privacy of one who has done so well, and tried so ingeniously: to conceal himself. But it is difficult to curb our curiosity to silence about one who seems so perfectly to unite in himself all the peculiarities and all the beauties of Bryant, of Halleck, and of Verplanck, in conjunction with other features, which, though hitherto in the mask, are scarcely less known to fame. It must surely be the world’s mercy and not his insignificance, if such an one be not speedily drawn into light and ‘resolved into his component parts.’ The book has too many of those

‘Rich, racy passages, where we The soil from which they sprung, taste, touch, and see,’

for its author to be left long in darkness. But one actual error struck us in its perusal, and that in the notes to the first story. In that well-known scene and oft-quoted passage from Shakspeare, we would remind Mr Herbert that it is not, ‘great’ but ‘imperious’—

‘Imperious Caesar, dead, and turned to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.’

Perhaps ‘ ’twere to consider too curiously, to consider so;’ at any rate, it is saying much for the text, when we are obliged to resort to the notes for matter of fault-finding. He may well be counted strong, who is vulnerable only in the heel. But we

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never had any patience with a misquotation from Hamlet. It was in reading this Annual that we especially remarked that want of patriotic incident, which we have before alluded to, and which indeed the author himself acknowledges. It seemed the more surprising in this work when we considered the locality of its birth-place. The majestic Hudson and its ‘brave, o’erhanging’ highlands’ have not deserved such neglect of their own sons.

Having thus mentioned the three most noted of these little works, from three of our great Atlantic cities, it might appear less invidious to stop short, than to attempt a selection from that numberless mass of others, which, coming from all quarters of our country, seem to have an equal claim, if any, upon our notice. But, at the risk of being accused of a little local favoritism, we shall not deny ourselves a hasty glance at ‘The Offering,’ published at Cambridge, whose benevolent and beautiful object ought alone to ensure its exemption from the undistinguished doom of those ‘multi præterea quos fama obscura recondit.’ Its execution and embellishments are in themselves neat; and when compared with those which we have mentioned before, may appeal without fear to the consideration that the whole work was unthought of till within two months of its appearance. Its literary contents need no such apology. Many of them would have done credit to a longer forethought. Coming to us, as it does, in the blended beauty of charity and friendship, it may claim yet a further hold upon our regard as being the fruit of classic ground. Issuing from the very atmosphere of learning, it has imbibed much of the purity and strength, without any of the starch propriety of scholastic lore. There is nothing in it but what is strictly moral, but many things of which it would be difficult to answer what they prove.

Upon the whole, we regard these little works as exerting a very favorable influence on the arts and literature of our country. And, in this regard, tyey admit of no comparison with the works of the same kind in our mother-country; which otherwise, with their proud array of titles and guineas, we should fear to mention on the same page with our own. The difference is wide. Theirs are the application of arts and literature which were long ago in perfection; ours are the subjects of a practice which we hope will make perfect. Theirs are the fruits of a harvest which has been long ripe; ours are

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the blossoms of a harvest to come. Here we see only the young and inexperienced proving their uncertain powers, and trying their scarce fledged wings; there we behold the sage stooping to sport—the lion playing with his strength.

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